David Hume (1711-1776)

“Beauty is no quality in things themselves: it exists merely in the mind which contemplates them.”

“Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.”

“A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.”

“When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities.”

“Be a philosopher but, amid all your philosophy be still a man.”

“The Christian religion not only was at first attended with miracles, but even at this day cannot be believed by any reasonable person without one.”

“Nothing is more surprising than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few.”

“What a peculiar privilege has this little agitation of the brain which we call ‘thought.”

“It is not reason which is the guide of life, but custom.”

“Everything in the world is purchased by labor.”

“The heights of popularity and patriotism are still the beaten road to power and tyranny; flattery to treachery; standing armies to arbitrary government; and the glory of God to the temporal interest of the clergy.”

“It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.”

“The rules of morality are not the conclusion of our reason.”

“There is not to be found, in all history, any miracle attested by a sufficient number of men, of such unquestioned good sense, education and learning, as to secure us against all delusion in themselves.”

“Truth springs from argument amongst friends.”

“Character is the result of a system of stereotyped principals.”

“The sweetest and most inoffensive path of life leads through the avenues of science and learning; and whoever can either remove any obstruction in this way, or open up any new prospect, ought, so far, to be esteemed a benefactor to mankind”

“No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish.”

“Eloquence, at its highest pitch, leaves little room for reason or reflection, but addresses itself entirely to the desires and affections, captivating the willing hearers, and subduing their understanding.”

“Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.”

“The richest genius, like the most fertile soil, when uncultivated, shoots up into the rankest weeds.”

“And what is the greatest number? Number one.”

“A propensity to hope and joy is real riches; one to fear and sorrow real poverty”

“Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.”

“Any person seasoned with a just sense of the imperfections of natural reason, will fly to revealed truth with the greatest avidity.”

“Where ambition can cover its enterprises, even to the person himself, under the appearance of principle, it is the most incurable and inflexible of passions.”

“The great end of all human industry is the attainment of happiness. For this were arts invented, sciences cultivated, laws ordained, and societies modeled, by the most profound wisdom of patriots and legislators. Even the lonely savage, who lies exposed to the inclemency of the elements and the fury of wild beasts, forgets not, for a moment, this grand object of his being.”

“The law always limits every power it gives.”

“It is not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger.”

“A purpose, an intention, a design, strikes everywhere the careless, the most stupid thinker”

“The many instances of forged miracles, and prophecies, and supernatural events, which, in all ages, have either been detected by contrary evidence, or which detect themselves by their absurdity, prove sufficiently the strong propensity of mankind to.”

“The slaving poor are incapable of any principles.”

“Custom is the great guide to human life.”

“Avarice, the spur of industry.”

“Among well-bred people a mutual deference is affected, contempt for others is disguised; authority concealed; attention given to each in his turn; and an easy stream of conversation maintained without vehemence, without interruption, without eagerness.”

“It’s when we start working together that the real healing takes place … It’s when we start spilling our sweat, and not our blood.”

“Custom, then, is the great guide of human life.”

“Never literary attempt was more unfortunate than my Treatise of Human Nature. It fell dead-born from the press.”

 “It is a just political maxim, that every man must be supposed a knave.”

“Human happiness seems to consist in three ingredients; action, pleasure and indolence. And though these ingredients ought to be mixed in different proportions, according to the disposition of the person, yet no one ingredient can be entirely wanting without destroying in some measure the relish of the whole composition.”

 “I may venture to affirm the rest of mankind, that they are nothing but a bundle or collection of different perceptions, which succeed each other with an inconceivable rapidity, and are in a perpetual flux and movement.”

“Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the ease with which the many are governed by the few.”

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